Photo of board LEDs illuminating
333 LEDs light up London Underground's network in real-time © TrainTrackr

Watch the London Underground live with TrainTrackr's 333 LED display


TrainTrackr’s London Underground live tracker is no doubt the perfect product for any rail and transport enthusiast. The premise is simple; the board connects to your home Wi-Fi to display train arrival data from London’s vast tube network. And it does so in real-time by harnessing Transport for London’s live APIs to automatically update 333 LEDs.

Pictured below is the large variant. Its dimensions are 40 cm x 30 cm, taking up quite a bit of room to pack in all those LEDs. Thankfully, in the box are also some wooden supports that can be used to prop up the tracker with minimal effort. Also included in the box is a USB power cable, a neat TrainTrackr logo sticker, and the setup instructions.

Full view of the tracker, with LEDs illuminated to indicate train arrivals

Enabling your tracker should be a straightforward process, though I encountered a technical mishap while trying to connect mine to my Wi-Fi network. TrainTrackr foresaw this, however, and I was able to follow their supplied alternative procedure, connecting directly to the board and configuring the network from there.

After setting up a Wi-Fi connection the tracker just works, it’s particularly amusing to watch all the LEDs begin to flash with activity. There is an LED for each tube station and, upon the arrival of a train will illuminate in the colour of the service’s respective line. 

Close-up image of the 'London TrainTrackr' logo.

This works incredibly well for the majority of lines, though you might have realised that it’s a tad difficult to represent the colours of the Bakerloo and Northern lines, for example, on a simple LED module. TrainTrackr opted for alternative colours to represent these lines, with the former using a bright orange hue instead, in this instance. The impact of this is minimal once you’ve adjusted to the changes.

The tracker can also be connected to the TrainTrackr website with a unique code, too. They offer an online portal where you can check in on the status of your board and adjust the brightness of the LED modules. There is also the option to enable a ‘night mode’ which reduces the brightness of or turns off the LEDs entirely. I particularly enjoy this functionality - otherwise, this London Underground tracker might as well be a floodlight with its activity in the evening.

Close up of the microcontroller powering the board.

Also promoted on the product page is how maker-friendly the product is. For enthusiasts with programming and microcontroller expertise, TrainTrackr has an article detailing the steps to reprogram your board. Those interested in the Arduino platform might have spotted the ESP8266 module, and yes, with the right libraries and board installed, you can indeed use the Arduino IDE to upload your own code.

TrainTrackr will, in future, support custom API integrations so that you can send your own data directly to your tracker without the need to flash it with new software.

Are you a frequent user of the District, Central, or Northern line? Well, you can find also boards for these lines featuring LEDs for both directions. Also available on the TrainTrackr products page is the smaller variant of the London Underground tracker, and a variety of other rapid transit and country/state maps.

Happy tracking!

Close-up of the LEDs illuminated in the colour of the respective arrival's line.
Seb J.

Seb J.

Seb is documenting Britain's railways, one train trip at a time. Since starting the To The Trains channel in 2020, he's been producing content on the railways - articles, videos, and podcasts.